Biden super PAC amps up spending with Iowa ad buy
A new statewide commercial will be part of $2 million statewide ad buy scheduled to run through the state’s caucus day, Feb. 3.
The Unite the Country super PAC is accelerating its support for Joe Biden in Iowa with a new TV ad buy targeting President Donald Trump for his controversial handling of Iran.
The new statewide commercial is part of $2 million statewide ad buy scheduled to run through the state’s caucus day, Feb. 3, where polls show a tight race. Unite the Country has already spent about $2.2 million on TV to help Biden.
Called “Consequences,” the ad features Biden’s recent criticisms of Trump’s controversial decision to order a missile strike in Iraq that killed an Iranian general accused of terrorism.
“The events of this past week have brought devastating clarity into just how dangerous this president is — to our national security, to our leadership around the world and to the lives of the brave women and men serving in uniform,” Biden’s voice intones over images of missile sites, explosions, Trump and chanting protesters in Iran before transitioning to pictures of the former vice president in the White House.
“We need someone in the Oval Office who understands the gravity and the consequences of their decisions,” Biden says. “So we have to choose. We have to choose the America we want to be.”
The independent super PAC, which can’t coordinate with Biden’s campaign, is on pace to spend a total of $5 million and was founded in late October. At the time, the candidate’s fundraising was abysmal and Trump and his allies attacked Biden relentlessly as he slipped in primary polls against Democratic rivals. That led Biden to reverse himself and signal for help from a super PAC, which can raise and spend unlimited corporate contributions to help a candidate.
“Joe Biden is the only candidate who has been forced to wage a primary campaign as well as fight off paid attacks from Donald Trump,” said Unite the Country’s executive director, Steve Schale. “Trump knows, particularly on issues like foreign policy, that voters know that not only does Joe Biden have the right experience to be president, he will work with our allies to keep America safe. We think this ad clearly draws this contrast with President Trump.”
The subject of the ad plays to one of Biden’s strengths, according to polls, and a potential weakness for Trump: foreign policy.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday showed that 51 percent of voters disapprove of Trump’s handling of Iran while 43 percent approve. By 45 percent to32 percent, respondents said the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani made the U.S. less safe, although voters marginally approved of the deadly strike by 45 percent to 41 percent. The poll’s margin of error is 3.8 percentage points.
A POLITICO/Morning Consult poll last week found similar results, with 47 percent approving of Soleimani’s killing and 40 percent opposed — but half of those surveyed said it would make the U.S. less safe and 32 percent said otherwise.
Meanwhile, a CNN poll in November showed Biden’s biggest advantage among Democratic primary voters was foreign policy, with 48 percent saying he was best to handle the issue, followed by Bernie Sanders at a distant second with 14 percent. Sanders’ campaign, however, has tried to chip away at Biden’s foreign policy chops by noting he voted for the Iraq War and then has made numerous misleading statements about it.
Unite the Country’s polling, according to Schale, shows a statistical three-way tie in Iowa with Biden at 21 percent support, Sanders at 20 percent support, 19 percent for Elizabeth Warren and 16 percent for Pete Buttigieg while the other candidates were in single digits. A Monmouth University poll released Monday had Biden with a bigger lead in Iowa and a Des Moines Register poll showed Biden in fourth and Sanders marginally ahead.
Taken together, the polls tell the same story in Iowa, said Schale.
“It’s a jump ball,” he said.